Friday, March 10, 2006

For the record

We could have picked any of George Bush's speeches, but his address yesterday to the Georgia Republican party really crystallizes his utter lack of qualification for high office -- or even low office. We'll put a few excerpts below; note the repetition of words, the non-sequiters, the tone-deafness to discredited phrases ("heck of a job") and the circular logic.

Incidentally, you can find many more examples of the low standards now taken for granted in Presidential utterances; visit Holden at the First Draft blog and search under the keywords "your president speaks".

... And I'm proud to be introduced by Sonny Perdue, who is doing a heck of a good job as the Governor of this state ... I want to thank Alec Poitevint, the mighty Chairman and National Committeeman of the great state of Georgia. Alec, good to see you. (Applause.) And Doreen is here. Alec has got his priorities straight. I've known him for a long period of time. We're quite familiar with each other. He said, how many turkeys you got on your ranch? I said, I haven't been counting them lately. He says, well, I've been counting them on mine. The man's got his priorities straight. (Laughter.) ... Two candidates running for the lieutenant governor with us -- Casey Cagle and Ralph Reed and I appreciate them both being here tonight. (Applause.) [there's a story behind Raplh Reed that we'll get to later] ... My job is -- my thinking is really -- was defined on September the 11th, you've just got to know that. Some of my buddies from Texas come over there to the White House and they say, what's it like to be the President? First of all, I'm a person who is so honored to be sustained by the prayers of millions of people. It is -- one of the truly great blessings of the presidency is to be uplifted in prayer by people I never get to thank personally.

Secondly, I make a lot of decisions. It's a decision-making experience. Sonny will tell you, as the governor of a state, you make decisions. That's what a chief executive officer does. In order to make decisions, you've got to make decisions based upon principle. And if not exactly sure what information you need, you've got to rely upon good people to give you information so you can make good decisions. A lot of my decision-making has come about as a result of the attack on our country. See, after that day, I vowed that I would do everything in my power to protect the United States of America from further attack. (Applause.) ...After the attacks on the country, I did what you would expect me to do, and ask people who are on the front lines of defending you whether or not there was -- there's more we could be doing. What can we do more to protect the American people? I vowed on September the 11th I would do everything I can to protect the American people. I would rally the assets and resources and brain power of our country to protect you.

And so I called people in and I said, is there anything else we could have done to prevent the attacks from September the 11th? And a General named Mike Hayden said, I believe there is, Mr. President; I believe we can design a system that will enable us to listen to a call from outside the country in from a known al Qaeda affiliate or a suspected al Qaeda affiliate. I said, that makes sense, doesn't it? If the people inside the country that planned the attacks on the United States were making phone calls out, we'd want to know that prior to any attack. [don't mention the warrants] ...

Another lesson of September the 11th is that we must deal with threats before they come to hurt us. You see, prior to September the 11th, 2001, a lot of folks assumed that we were safe in America. In other words, we could see a threat somewhere overseas, but we were fine. Oceans protected us, perhaps our might protected us. But that all changed for me on September the 11th, 2001. [have I mentioned September 11 yet?] ....The people of the Middle East must understand that when I say, democracy, I don't mean American-style democracy. I mean a democracy which reflects the values and the history and the tradition of the country in which democracy is spreading.... But I do believe in the universality of liberty. I personally believe there is an Almighty God and I believe a gift from the Almighty God to every man and woman on the face of the earth is freedom. Our country was formed based upon the natural rights of men and women, and we believe those natural rights extend to men and women all across the globe. The United States of America believes people desire to be free. And by freeing people, we are laying the foundation of peace for generations to come. (Applause.)

... One of my best buddies in the international arena is Prime Minister Koizumi of Japan ... The tax relief we passed and these members voted for, these candidates voted for, is set to expire. And if it does, the American people are going to get a tax increase they don't expect and they don't want. ... Now, I know what they're going to say. They're going to say, how can you balance the budget if you cut the taxes? People will say, well, we need to raise your taxes in order to balance the budget. That's not the way Washington works. What will happen is, they will raise your taxes and figure out new ways to spend your moneyn ... Look, we want our farmers in Georgia growing crops that can run our automobiles. We need to become less dependent on foreign sources of oil in order to be a competitive nation. (Applause.) ... You see, if our kids don't have the skills for the jobs of the 21st century, they're going to go somewhere else [with a time machine?] ... And if you find a child not reading early, I think it makes sense to provide additional help, additional money for each child like we're doing through No Child Left Behind Act so no child is left behind ... And finally -- you'll probably be happy to hear the word, finally -- I'm going to continue to work with people on this stage to promote a culture of life in the United States of America. (Applause.) We believe every person matters, every person counts. We believe that -- we believe in medicine and sound science, but we don't believe in taking life to promote science. We believe in upholding values that are important. We believe in the faith-based initiatives ...

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